HSBC puts 35,000 job cuts on hold

London: British multinational investment bank, HSBC announced on Tuesday that it has paused plans to cut 35,000 jobs, saying it does not want to leave staff unable to find work elsewhere during the coronavirus pandemic.

In February, HSBC said it planned to scale back its headcount from 235,000 to about 200,000 over the next three years, the BBC reported.

The move is part of a restructuring programme which aimed to achieve $4.5bn (£3.6bn) of cost cuts by 2022.

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But in the latest announcement, CEO Noel Quinn said the “the vast majority” of redundancies would now be put on hold due to the exceptional circumstances.

“The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our customers has been the main driver of the change in our financial performance,” Quinn was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Separately, in a note to employees earlier this month, Quinn had said he would donate a quarter of his base salary, about 160,000 pounds, for the next six months to charity.

He will also not take his annual cash bonus, which would have been up to 1.2 million pounds.

Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson said he would take similar action, donating 93,000 pounds and forgoing 706,000 pounds, while Chairman Mark Tucker will donate his entire 2020 fee to charity, about 1.5 million pounds.

It came as senior executives and board members at other major UK banks, including RBS and Lloyds, agreed to give up their bonuses for this year.

The announcements were in response to calls from the Bank of England to restrict bonuses during the pandemic.

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